For those parents who don’t know, kids and teens access the internet via apps and not web browsers. So while many parents, aged 40+ obsess over blocking or controlling access to our children’s browsers, many don’t realize that this is no longer relevant for our kids – apps, it’s where it’s at, and will continue to be for any foreseeable future.
What are they doing?
Kids are using Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of social media apps to reach out, be social and stay connected. Kids and teens do not open up their browsers and “surf” – that is old news.
Blocking and Disabling Apps
On mobile devices, blocking and disabling apps has always been a challenge. There was never an easy nor elegant way to selectively disable apps on Apple iOS or Android. Your choices were to disable all app installation or to manually intervene each time to add or delete apps. With parents having busy lives, this is not very easy. Netsanity has a better way.
Over 3 years ago, we invented a revolutionary way to block apps at the network layer – our appblocker and gameblocker features still do this today. How it all works is still our secret sauce, but our engineers profile all the popular internet-based apps and allow parents a one-click way to block them.
Blocking in Apple iOS
Since Netsanity does not install an app on the child’s device, we block apps at the network level. What does that mean? It means that we profile apps that need the internet to work. Almost all heavily-used apps fall into this category. Examples are Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and many others. Netsanity intelligently breaks all the internet communications to and from those apps so they are not usable.
The parent simply clicks the app they want to block and then apply changes. Typically within 5 – 10 minutes those apps will stop working. They still show up on the device of course, but accessing new content is no longer possible.
When blocking is no longer needed, the parent simply clicks the app again, and it shows up in the allowed list.
A summary of blocked apps and games is always shown in the dashboard in the main activity summary page.
Disabling & Blocking Apps for Android (Samsung)
In addition to the traditional blocking of apps and games in appblocker, Netsanity has also created another restriction possible for Samsung devices – disabling the icons (apps) on the screen. Now a parent can quickly disable any app that is inventoried by our software and instantly disable it! So now ANY app, even non-internet ones like Minecraft and others, can be instantly disabled.
If that app is ALSO part of the appbloker or gameblocker inventory, it gets blocked there as well in case a child wants to access it via a browser. Youtube is a perfect example of this. By disabling the Youtube app, the icon is frozen and cannot be used. However a child can quickly open up Chrome and go to the youtube website and watch from there. By also disabling it in appblocker, we have shut down the use of that software everywhere!
Regardless of platform, we know that blocking and disabling apps is the key to controlling screentime. Netsanity makes it easy with its revolutionary features.
Netsanity was made by parents for parents. With easy to use software designed to give control and sanity back to parents, Netsanity enables a safer and healthier mobile experience for kids. See for yourself with a free trial!
Netsanity is available for both Apple and Android (Samsung) devices.